A Complete Guide To Maximising Your Homemade Pizza Experience

Buckle up kids, we’re about to go on a journey. Let me set the scene for you. It’s one of those summer days that feels like it’s going to last forever, the golden heat doesn’t make you hiss and recede into the shade but is just enough to warm your skin and make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. It’s one of those days when you’d like to sit back and relax by the pool with your family. Just as the sun starts to fade into the horizon, you retreat to your kitchen and start to think about what will satiate your tastebuds; what you could possibly throw together that will put the cherry on top of this glorious day.


That’s when it hits you: homemade pizza. It requires minimal effort, will make everyone at the table happy and is the perfect excuse to add heaps of mozzarella to a dish! Unfortunately, we’ve all had the cooking mishap where the crust comes out soggy, the toppings aren’t quite done or it just lacks the pizzazz that you were expecting.

Lucky for you, I’ve finally cracked the code to achieving the ultimate homemade pizza every single time. Today, I am sharing the secrets with you! So get your apron and rolling pin ready because we’re about to get into this dough.

The Crust

This is the vessel that will deliver your toppings to the dinner table. You could just buy any old frozen dough from the supermarket but that’s not how we do things around here. I find that storebought crusts bake much faster than the toppings and are either grossly underdone and soggy or are burnt and inedible. No my friend, if we’re going to do things the right way then we’re going to make our pizza dough from scratch.

‘But isn’t that time consuming?’ you lament. Homemade pizza dough only requires 15 minutes of hands-on time – even less if you have a stand mixer.

2016-04-30 18.26.38

I always use my trusty recipe for homemade pizza dough, and it makes enough dough for 2 pizzas, so you can freeze one and defrost it whenever you get the pizza craving. In fact, that’s what I usually do and it is the most convenient thing on this planet. You never know when you’ll feel the irresistible desire to have hot cheese in your belly, but I promise you that the day will come. When it does, you will be overcome with gratitude that you made an extra pizza dough. That doesn’t nearly compare to the disappointment you feel when you thought that you had an extra pizza dough lying around and realise that you used it last week. #oops.

Alas, homemade pizza dough isn’t the only hurdle you need to jump over to attain that perfect golden crust. one must also consider their toppings. If you overload your pizza then you are assured of a soggy crust. If you can’t help it and you need to pile your crust with spinach, avocado, mushrooms, pineapple, caramelised onions, olives, sweetcorn AND chickpeas (adds a nice crunch to pizza I must admit)- then you can alleviate the situation by cooking some of the toppings first. I normally don’t cook spinach before I add it to a pizza but I will briefly saute mushrooms, peppers or onions before adding them to a pizza. Toppings such as broccoli, chickpeas and eggplants would be better off roasted in the oven before going on top of a pizza.


Another strategy that I recently employed is to bake my pizza in a skillet. To see this tactic in action, head over to this recipe. The method is simple: heat a large skillet on the stove until it is sizzling. Dust the hot pan with cornflour and quickly toss the dough onto the hot skillet, making sure not to burn your fingers. Cook the dough for 2 minutes on the stove before adorning with your toppings. That’s simple enough, right?

The Crust- Part Two

There’s more to the crust than you thought. There are several ways to prepare a pizza dough, one doesn’t have to adhere to the standard yeasted dough technique. If you find yourself short of yeast then my homemade pizza dough recipe includes a yeast-less option though I have to tell you that it isn’t nearly as good as the yeasted version. There are other options out there!

For those of you who are gluten free, cauliflower crust is a viable option. It’s easy to prepare, even if you don’t have a blender then you can use a cheese grater to get the cauliflower down to mini-florets. This crust is perfect for those of us who are fans of super-thin crusts, it produces a beautiful thin crust that is golden, crunchy and all for a fraction of the calories! There a couple of drawbacks with the cauliflower crust- it is much easier to yield a soggy crust. To avoid this dilemma, you have to make sure to squeeze all the water out during preparation. You also can’t go topping crazy with this crust because of how thin it is. Overload the crust and the pizza will just fall apart in your hand. You have to exercise restraint with this one. Ready to give it a go? In the photo below, I made this Chickpea Cauliflower Crust Pizza by Tieghan over at Half Baked Harvest. It’s well worth a try!


Other options include a broccoli crust (similar to the cauliflower crust, the only difference is the colour which could potentially offset small children), chickpea crust and quinoa crust all of which I am yet to try. Another option would be to grab a piece of naan bread, spread some of the best pasta sauce on it, sprinkle some cheese and a couple of toppings before baking in the oven. Can we call it a pizza when it is technically a flatbread? Why yes, yes we can.

The Oven

Pizza is not baked in a 180°C oven. Pizza is not baked in an oven that you turned on 30 seconds before baking it. This is non-negotiable. If you have an open fireplace (lucky you) then you can can prepare yourself an authentic oven roasted pizza. The rest of us peasants will have to settle for preheating our ovens a full 30 minutes before baking the pizza, and setting the oven temperature to the highest setting- for me this is about 225°C/575°F. I know that all you conservative penny-wise readers out there are already whining about the electricity bill, but believe me, you will not yield a golden crust with gooey cheese in a cold oven.


The oven has to turned on in advance to ensure that heat spreads to every corner of the oven, we want it to be at a relatively even temperature. On that note, try and keep your nosy hands from opening the oven several times whilst the pizza is baking. You want to keep the heat locked in for maximum crust crunchiness. The only time that your oven door should be open is to put the pizza in the oven- and that shouldn’t be more than 30 seconds. That is all! If you happen to be the proud owner of a pizza stone, this should be preheated at the same time as the oven. Watch your fingers!

The Sauce

Oh man, pizza is as much about the sauce as it is about the crust. If the crust is the vessel then the sauce is the captain. Sure if the vessel is strong enough then that may be good enough to disguise a bad captain but there’s not much in the way that can save a sauce that’s too acidic, too spicy or just lacklustre in nature. The sauce is what taints the flavour of the toppings. No amount of cheese could remedy this situation. My go-to pizza sauce is also my go-to pasta sauce because everybody loves versatile options! Great sauces include barbecue sauce, any sort of pesto and Bechamel sauce.


The Cheese

Mozzarella will never not be good on pizza. If you’d like to stray from the safe zone then there are other cheeses waiting with open arms! I’ve used ricotta before and combined it with a killer balsamic reduction to give you this delectable pizza. Burrata, provolone and white cheddar are also really good on cheese.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset
Ricotta White Cheese Pizza with Balsamic Honey Reduction
Another thing I’ve grown to love this year is huge puddles of gooey cheese on pizza. Can’t get enough of them. To achieve this, cheese is sliced thinly, rather than grated and is layered on top of the crust before baking. Heaven, I tell you, heaven.

Now that you know all my pizza making tips, go forth into the world and enjoy your pizza! Is there anything I missed? Let me know in the comments! I’m always looking to gather information from different sources and I’d love to hear what you think makes a great homemade pizza! Until next time loves,

x Andy

Advertisements

Ultimate Skillet Margarita Pizza

No exaggeration here- this is the ultimate skillet pizza.


I’ve been trying to brush up on my pizza-making skills but those attempts have been anything but successful. Having a killer topping combination means absolutely nothing when the base is soggy and falling apart under it. This is where the skillet pizza comes in- watch all your soggy crust fears disappear with this simple cooking technique.


The crust is cooked on the stovetop for a couple of minutes to form the perfect vessel for the tomato-cheese topping. I started with a simple margarita this week but trust me when I say we are going to build on this- bigger and better and more complex flavour combinations. Let this serve as a guide to show you that effortless flawless homemade pizza is not a myth and truly does exist.


Ultimate Skillet Margarita Pizza

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp flour + 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 pound pizza dough, homemade with this recipe or storebought
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ each salt and black pepper
  • 1 and ½ cups of the best pasta sauce or any storebought marinara
  • 150g mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp honey + 2 tsp water
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • some fresh basil leaves, torn roughly (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to the highest temperature it will go to. Mine goes to 250°C/480°F. At the same time, set your skillet on the stove at medium-high heat to allow it to start heating up. You want your skillet to be hot, but not smoking. I used a 9 inch skillet but if you want a thicker crust/deep pan pizza, go with an 8 inch skillet.
  2. Once the skillet is hot, dust the bottom with the flour and cornflour. Stretch or roll the pizza dough into a circle that is roughly the same size as the skillet. Carefully lay the pizza dough in the skillet, being careful not to burn your fingers!
  3. Cook the pizza dough until it starts to form large bubbles, about 3-4 minutes. Switch off the stove before drizzling olive oil over the surface of the dough and seasoning with salt and pepper. Spread the marinara sauce evenly over the surface of the dough. It’s okay if you don’t have as much of a crust as you would like, the tomatoes will caramelise where the sauce is thin and you will end up with something so much better. Layer the cheese evenly over the tomato base before transferring to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is deep golden brown, and bubbling.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the honey, water and chilli flakes. Once the pizza has finished baking, switch off the oven. Drizzle the chilli honey over the surface of the pizza and allow to rest in the hot oven for 5 minutes. Top with basil leaves before removing to a cutting board to slice and serve. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower BBQ Vegan Pizza

Boy am I mighty excited about this one. 


As you can tell, I’ve been eating a lot of pizza lately, and whilst this is probably not doing any favors for my diet, it’s doing all kinds of things for my tastebuds! Melting caramelised onions, sweet sweet barbecue sauce and a cool avocado dressing that takes it over the edge. I don’t know about you but I’m sold! 


The icing on the cake is that this pizza is 100% vegan! Is it really a pizza without cheese? The answer is YES in all sense of the word. The crust is still as soft as ever, the toppings are ever as delicious and the number of calories is a lot less. 


Roasted Cauliflower BBQ Vegan Pizza
Ingredients

  • 250g cauliflower, chopped into florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 pound pizza dough, homemade or storebought

For the barbecue sauce: 

  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp molasses (or honey if not vegan)
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper

For the green sauce: (optional) 

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a handful of chopped parsley
  • a jalapeno pepper, deseeded
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F. Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine the cauliflower, olive oil, oregano, onion powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss well to ensure the cauliflower is coated evenly in spice. Lay the cauliflower in an single layer on the baking pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until lightly toasted.
  2. Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a large saucepan on medium-high. Add the sliced red onion and fry for 2 minutes before reducing the heat to low. Cook until moderately caramelised, about 20 minutes. The onions should be very soft and starting to turn golden on the edges. A good indicator of their doneness should be the taste, if the onion is still too bitter, then return the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until palatable. Set aside once done.
  3. Whilst the onions are caramelising, prepare the barbecue sauce. Add all the ingredients for the barbecue sauce in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Once the cauliflower has roasted, toss with the barbecue sauce to coat in sauce.
  4. Increase the heat in your oven to the highest it will go (this is about 250°C for me). Roll/stretch the pizza dough into a circle (or a rectangle if you’re me). Transfer the dough to a pizza stone or a baking pan lined with parchment. Cover the base with the barbecue cauliflower, leaving a border of about ½ inch. Make sure that the sauce completely covers the area within the border. Top with the caramelised onions and the yellow pepper. Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. To really amp up the crust, combine 1 tbsp of maple syrup with 1 tbsp of water and brush the crust with the runny maple syrup when done. Serve immediately with the green sauce if desired. Enjoy!

To make the green sauce:

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until combined. Drizzle over the pizza! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Cheesy Pull Apart Pizza Bread

There is nothing more beautiful on this earth than stretchy melty cheese. Anyone who wants to disagree can fight me in the comments.



Typically whenever I need a cheese fix, I go for pizza or a grilled cheese. So this week I strayed and went for this pizza/bread hybrid. And OHMYGOSH it was the most wonderful thing I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. I took this to my friend’s leaving barbecue (so sad literally everyone I know is off to university) and it got rave reviews from everyone there. This was honestly the best way for me to distract from the “OHMYGOSH you’re a vegetarian, what do you even eat?!” conversation. 

Along with a game of monopoly that turned violent way too quickly 😆. This recipe is super quick, 30 minutes from start to finish unless you decide to go the noble route and make your pizza dough from scratch (I did). Here’s the link to the recipe I posted for pizza dough that includes a non-yeast option that works very well whenever I don’t have time for the dough to rise. Go forth, make cheesy bread and be merry my friends! 


Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • ½ cup frozen butter, grated (It’s important that the butter is frozen otherwise it will start melting whilst you’re trying to work with it)
  • ½ cup white cheddar, grated
  • ½ red onion, diced
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • ½ pound cold pizza dough, homemade or storebought is fine

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease a skillet or baking dish. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the pizza dough. Toss lightly with your hands to evenly distribute the ingredients. Remove about ¼ cup of the cheese mixture and keep separate. Use a sharp Chef’s knife to cut the pizza dough into ½ inch cubes. Add the pizza dough to the larger portion of the cheese mixture and toss with your hands to make sure that the dough is completely covered in the cheese mixture.

Lay the dough pieces in the bottom of the skillet in a single layer and bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and top with the remaining cheese mixture and bake for an extra 5 minutes. Serve immediately!

Ricotta White Cheese Pizza with Honey Balsamic Reduction

Ciao!

Today I am going to change your life. And I am going to do that with the one startling revelation that you can make your own cheese at home. In under an hour. No joke.

In all seriousness, once I discovered how to make my own ricotta cheese, I have never looked back. And even gone so far as to make my own paneer and yoghurt using these helpful guides from The Kitchn. Honestly speaking, this will change your life.


Let me break this recipe down for you: first of all, it will take you less than 30 minutes to prepare. This is one of those quick Sunday lunches to prepare when still slightly famished from breakfast, but not hungry enough for a full blown meal. It’s light, it’s easy and you can incorporate lots of vegetables into the toppings to maximize healthiness. In short, this recipe is flawless.

The honey balsamic reduction is completely optional but I feel that this white cheese pizza cannot reach its full potential without the tangy flavours of this sauce. I feel that it really cuts the soft and creamy flavour of the cheeses with a sharp, distinct taste and that that ties the whole meal together.

Starting with a preprepared pizza dough, you can use this recipe, all that you have to do is roll out the dough, add your desired toppings, bake for 15 minutes and you are well on your way to tasting Nirvana. You can prepare the balsamic honey reduction whilst your pizza is baking and just pour it straight over the pizza as soon as it gets out. Uggggghhhhhh heaven.


Ricotta White Cheese Pizza with Honey Balsamic Reduction

Pizza

1 pizza dough, either store bought or made from this recipe

1 cup ricotta cheese

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup chopped spinach

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Optional additives: 1/4 cup sliced red onion, 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms, 1/2 cup grated feta cheese, 1/4 cup caramelised onions

Honey Balsamic Reduction

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp raw honey

1 tbsp cornflour + 1 tbsp COLD water

Make the pizza: 

  1. Start by preheating your oven to a temperature that is above 200°C/400°F, basically, just turn your oven up to its highest setting (mine goes up to 225°C/450°F). High temperatures are a key element in getting the perfect crust on pizza, so we have to make sure that every inch of that oven is burning hot. Place the pizza stone/baking sheet that you’re going to bake the pizza on in the oven as well. These steps are crucial for obtaining optimum golden brown crust.
  2. On a large piece of parchment paper, roll your pizza crust into a large rectangular shape, about 6 inches wide and 12 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. For a thin crust pizza, you can roll it out even thinner, but I prefer to keep it at its thickness as a thin crust pizza may not be able to support all your toppings and you may end up with a soggy crust.
  3. Spread the ricotta cheese all over the pizza crust, leaving a border that is about a 1/4 inch wide. Sprinkle on half the mozzarella cheese and half the parmesan cheese. Arrange the chopped spinach carefully over the pizza base. Finally, top it all off with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
  4. Remove your hot baking sheet from the oven (use gloves!) and carefully slide the parchment paper with your pizza onto the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden. Whilst your pizza is baking, make the honey balsamic reduction.

 

Make the honey balsamic reduction: 

  1. Combine the balsamic vinegar and honey in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. In a cup, dissolve the cornflour in the cold water and stir together until no lumps remain (you may need to add more water). Pour into the balsamic honey mixture and stir until mixture has thickened such that it coats the back of a spoon. Drizzle over baked pizza and serve immediately.

 

 

BBQ Hawaiian Pizza with Cheesy Bites

 Aloha friends!

Fun fact: Hawaiian pizza does not actually come from Hawaii. It’s from Canada. Reason Number 2837 why everybody loves Canada.

Remember how I talked in my last post about how pizza dough is superior to pizza? I may have lied. Don’t get me wrong, pizza dough is great, but it’s not pizza great. How do you beat this gooey cheesy mess piled on top of a spicy barbecue base, topped with crispy bacon and tangy peppers?

  
Well, I guess you could argue that this wouldn’t be anything without the crispy golden crust that it’s piled on top of. Did I mention that I stuffed the crust with MOZZARELLA CHEESE?! Pizza dough-3 Pizza-1

  
Yes, you may worship me now. Stuffed crust has always been a weakness of mine, and I just could not resist the urge to sneak a few pieces of mozzarella into the crust of this delectable masterpiece. I would definitely recommend this homemade pizza dough recipe I stuck at the bottom of this page that uses yeast, but you could totally go for this recipe that doesn’t use yeast, or just buy the dough if you’re not feeling up to the whole kneading and mixing and proofing that comes from dough making. But if there is one thing I can guarantee you, it’s that there is no pizza like a homemade pizza. And that is a guarantee.

BBQ Hawaiian Pizza with Cheesy Bites

 Ingredients 

1 pizzacrust, homemade from this recipe or store-bought 

Sauce: 

1/3 cup tomato/marinara sauce 

3 tbsps barbecue sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp of your favourite chilli sauce (optional) 

Garlic butter brush:

4 tbsp melted butter

1 clove garlic (minced) 

1 tsp mixed herbs 

Toppings:

1 1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, diced into small cubes (you should get between 12 and 15)

2 rashers bacon

2 thin slices of pineapple, diced into cubes  

1/8 red pepper + 1/8 green pepper, diced 

1 tbsp of your favourite barbecue/chilli sauce (optional) 

2 tbsp grated parmesan (optional) 

Method 

1. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees Celsius, you are going to want to make sure your oven is HOT when the pizza goes in. Heat a skillet on high heat and fry the bacon until crispy, about 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels and tear into small pieces using your hands. 

2.Roll out your pizza dough until its diameter is about 12 inches and the shape vaguely resembles a circle (I struggle to get the PERFECT circle) 

3. Place a piece of mozzarella cheese close to the edge of the pizza and pull the dough over the cheese and tuck it in so that the cheese is hidden. Repeat along the whole circumference until you have something that looks a little like this: 

  
4. Combine the ingredients for the garlic butter brush in a small bowl, and using a pastry brush, carefully apply the garlic butter to the whole of the pizza, paying special attention to the crust. 

5. Add the ingredients for the sauce together in a small bowl and spread the sauce over the inner circle. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, distribute the diced pineapple, crumbled bacon and diced peppers. If you’d like, you can drizzle some barbecue/chilli sauce over the base at this stage before topping with the other half cup of mozzarella cheese. If you feel like being fancy, you can sprinkle the grated parmesan carefully over the crust.

  
6. Bake the pizza in the hot oven for 15 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the cheese is bubbling. Serve and ENJOY

You can never go wrong with serving this 😉          

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Pizza Dough and How Yeast Works

Greetings friends, Romans, countrymen!

Seeing as this is a food/science blog (NOT a food science blog, there’s a difference) I figured that it was probably time for me to actually write a science related post. But don’t worry, it’s still food related.

So today, let’s talk about one of the fundamental pieces of the greatest food on the planet. I’m talking about pizza dough. Everybody loves to talk about how amazing pizza is, but nobody ever gives pizza dough the credit it’s due. Pizza dough isn’t just for pizza, it’s hella versatile. You can use it for cinnamon rolls, calzones, garlic bread, the list is endless 😍

 
Let’s start by talking about what makes a good dough:

1. The basics: flour, water and salt. I like to use self raising flour, it helps the dough to rise quite nicely. Water helps to activate the yeast, and it needs to be lukewarm or about 40 degrees Celsius, any higher and you’ll kill the yeast (more about that later). A little salt in there introduces positive ions into the gluten structure that help hold it closer together and help your dough holds its shape.

2. The leavening agent: Through much experimentation and many errors I have been able to deduce that yeast is the way to go. Using bicarbonate of soda works perfectly well too, but it doesn’t give you the same taste that you would get with yeast. But otherwise, if you’re short on time and have no yeast then I’ve got you covered with a yeastless recipe for pizza dough right below. It’s lacking the yeasty taste (for lack of a better term) but it’s really good if you have a desperate craving for pizza and you’re short on time.

3. The fat: A little fat helps the texture of the bread. Adding butter/oil will affect the gluten structure, so that you get smaller bubbles of carbon dioxide so that the dough is less chewy.

4. The sugars: Your yeast needs something to feed on, it’s a living organism, so we add some sugar so that it produces those bubbles of carbon dioxide that we need for our bread to rise.

And now this is where the magic happens. You mix a bunch of ingredients together, leave it in a warm place for a while then you come back in an hour and BAM! A HUGE WHITE LOVELY FLUFFY PILLOW.


A brief history of what actually happened in your oven: Yeast is a fungus. A living, breathing organism. It uses a combination of oxygen and glucose to produce carbon dioxide and water in a process called respiration. But when yeast comes out of your little packet, it doesn’t look very magical, it’s just tiny brown grains. That’s because the yeast is deactivated. It’s in a state of hibernation and it can only be awakened by you and some lukewarm water, and a little bit of sugar can help keep it going. The general rule of all biological reactions is that the more heat you have, the faster the reaction will happen. So to say, the warmer the water and the warmer the environment you leave it in, the faster your bread will rise. But there’s a catch, remember how yeast is a living organism? Too much heat will kill your yeast. Much like if I stuck you in a 200 degree oven for 2 hours, well, you wouldn’t be looking so hot either. Ignoring my terrible joke, yeast has an optimum temperature of 35 degrees celsius. So to keep a warm environment for it, I’ll usually heat up my oven to its lowest temperature which is approximately 120 degrees Celsius, put the dough in, then let it sit in the oven with the door open for about 10 minutes before switching off the oven then closing the door after another 5 minutes.

It’s complicated, I know, but it’s so worth it.

Pizza Dough with Yeast

Ingredients

3 1/4 cups self raising flour

3 1/2 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

2 tsp granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp melted butter

Method

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and leave it until it starts foaming, about 10 minutes in order to activate the yeast. If your yeast is fast acting and it does not require you to dissolve it in water first then you can skip this step

2. Add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast (if you haven’t dissolved it) to a large bowl and combine. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the water, honey and melted butter. Mix until the dough starts to come together before turning the dough onto a floured/oiled surface and kneading with your hands until the dough is elastic, about 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball.

3. Grease a large bowl with butter/olive oil and place your dough ball in the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place (35 degrees Celsius) for about an hour. You could switch on your oven and turn the heat up to about 100 degrees Celsius and put the bowl in there, whilst leaving the door open, then switch the oven off after about 10/15 minutes before closing the door after 5 minutes.

4. Remove the dough from the oven once it has doubled in size, punch the dough to let the air bubbles out (notice the soft, delicate pillowy-ness of it) and then divide the dough in 2. You could use immediately in a pizza, cinnamon rolls or calzone recipe, or it could be frozen for use on another day.

Yeastless Pizza Dough Recipe 

Ingredients

1 cup self raising flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup natural yoghurt

2 tbsp melted butter

Method

1. Sieve the dry ingredients together in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the natural yogurt, and melted butter. Mix well, don’t worry if it’s a bit wet, you will add extra flour in the kneading process.

2. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until elastic. At this point, you can roll out the dough and have it ready to use, or you can roll it into a ball and freeze it to use later.

Sources 

http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/19694/what-is-the-purpose-of-oil-or-butter-in-bread

https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/bread/bread_science.html

http://redstaryeast.com/tips-troubleshooting/baking-tips/

My Form 4 biology teacher 🤓